Bansalan vice mayor Edwin Reyes has assumed as the acting town head after suspended Mayor Quirina Sarte stepped down, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) XI confirmed.
DILG XI Regional Director Alex Roldan told TIMES that a turnover was held last week.
Sarte initially refused to honor the six-month suspension order issued by the Ombudsman.
In a joint resolution on two cases (OMB-M-C-18-0167 and OMB-M-A-18-0183, entitled Eduardo Telmo vs. Quirina T. Sarte), the Ombudsman said they “found probable cause to hold you liable for violation of Sec. 3 of RA 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices act and also found substantial evidence to hold you administratively liable for Grave Misconduct.”
DILG Undersecretary Marivel Sacendocillo directed its regional office to implement the Ombudsman resolution.
Sarte received the resolution last April 11 but refused to step down.
According to Roldan, Sarte cited the Omnibus Election Code of the Commission on Election (Comelec) that bans any suspension as a penalty during the election period.
“But the grounds of the suspension was a violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices act,” Roldan said.
According to Roldan, the Municipal Council of Bansalan needed to issue a resolution stating that the vice mayor is the acting mayor but the council refused resulting to a stalemate.
Roldan said he urged the Bansalan town council to release the resolution so that the local government would not be paralyzed, as he warned officials against dereliction of duty.
“I told them (town councilors) if the LGU will be paralyzed, I will file a charge (against all of you),” he said.
But Roldan said the vice mayor already asked for a certification from the DILG XI stating that he is already acting as the mayor.
“We are now processing the requirement of the banks to have the vice mayor as the signatory,” the DILG director said.